Georgetown University, together with the United States Embassy in Podgorica, Montenegro will host the fifth annual “Basketball Diplomacy Camp” for approximately 50 boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18 in Bar, Montenegro during the week of July 29 – August 2, 2012.
In cooperation with the Georgetown Athletics and United States Embassies in the Balkans, the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) has been organizing “Basketball Diplomacy Camps” and working with the young student-athletes from the Balkans to stress the importance of education, leadership, and conflict resolution. As Georgetown continues to grow and evolve as a university, it is expanding its presence throughout the world and this program is yet another example of the increasingly global nature of the institution.
The Basketball Diplomacy Camp directly supports these efforts in the Balkan region. Camps are led by Georgetown University Alum Sead Dizdarevic and have hosted student-athletes from underprivileged regions of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition to having an interest in basketball, participants have excelled academically and will have a good understanding of the English language.
As a student-athlete on Georgetown’s 2007 NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball team, Sead learned the importance of education in the development of a successful athlete. A native of Montenegro, he recognized the need to create a program that emphasizes the importance of sports, academics and leadership for young student athletes in his homeland of Montenegro and the Balkans. During the camps, Georgetown University former players and staff members travel to the Balkans, where they coach approximately 50 basketball players from the region. Throughout the Basketball Diplomacy Camp, Georgetown representatives work with the campers to enhance their basketball skills, while helping them understand the educational opportunities that sports can provide for young athletes. The skills that are needed in basketball: perseverance, sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership and integrity are as important in life as they are essential on the basketball court. In addition to conducting high quality basketball training sessions, Georgetown representatives share their vast experiences with the young student-athletes, encouraging them to stay in school and use basketball as a tool to overcome many of the challenges they face.
The program is co-sponsored by the United States Department of State and Georgetown University. Previous programs have been very successful and extremely beneficial to the young student-athletes from the Balkans. Through sports, Public Diplomacy has proven to be an effective way to build bridges across ethnic, religious and cultural divisions and strengthen the bonds of friendships and understanding between people of the United States and people in the Balkans. The Basketball Diplomacy Camp has limited resources, so Georgetown University is actively seeking matching funds to ensure and enhance the continued success of the program.
Individuals, groups, organizations and businesses interested in supporting these efforts are asked to contact Sead Dizdarevic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News & Updates on the Basketball Diplomacy:
- In this article, the US Embassy in Montenegro highlights and summarizes the activities of the Basketball Diplomacy program. Click here to read the article.
- This GU Hoyas article outlines the program and the ongoing contributions of Georgetown's University basketball players to the program. Click here to read the article.